Jim Davis / Globe Staff
... where the Utah Jazz haven't forgotten a thing.
Flash back to Nov. 11, when the Celtics were a force in the middle of starting the season 23-5.
They were smacking the Jazz around so badly that night that the TD Garden Jumbotron team broke out the Gino clip with close to six minutes left in the game. Even worse, it was apparently never-before-seen Gino footage, which had the Celtics bench cracking up, which Jazz point guard Deron Williams couldn't help but notice.
The Celtics were up big (22 points at the end of the third quarter), all the starters were in double-figures, and things were lovely. As you can see in the photo above, the starters were literally able to kick their shoes off in the fourth quarter. The game ended as a 105-86 crush.
Talking to reporters, Williams, who went for 13 points and four assists battling back problems, called his team "soft." But apparently there was more to the story, which Ross Siler explained in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune:
The Jazz lost to Boston only eight games into their season, with Boozer saying it "seems like two years ago." Williams played with a bad back that night and Sloan benched Boozer and Mehmet Okur not even four minutes into the second half.
"They're a great team," Williams said then. "They have a group of guys who know their roles 1 through 10. They come in, they do the job, they get stops. They don't coast. They hold everybody accountable. That's what it takes to be a championship team."
Williams went out to dinner with a group of teammates after the game and said they were struck by the Celtics laughing on the bench during the fourth quarter of the blowout, with seemingly little interest in how their numbers would look in the final box score.
Four months later, the Jazz and the Celtics have identical win totals. The Celtics are trying to sweep a treacherous three-game road trip, having knocked off Houston and Dallas already. With all their starters finally healthy, Williams said he sees a Celtics team that's as dangerous as the one they played in November.
"They're a totally different team," Williams said. "That's why they struggled so much. They're an older team and they had a lot of guys injured. Now that they're healthy you can see how they're jelling and starting to come together."